28 June 2019
Trust nurse joins national celebration to mark 100 years of learning disability nursing
A Learning Disabilities (LD) Nurse from Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has taken part in
celebrations to mark 100 years of learning disability nursing.
Lou Craig, Learning Disability Nurse and Liaison and Diversion
Team Manager for Swindon and Wiltshire, attended a reception at the
Houses of Parliament on Friday 21st June, which was hosted on
behalf of Health Education England.
Lou was one of four learning disability nurses from across the
South West to be invited by Kevin Elliot, the Clinical Lead for the
Learning Disability Programme, at NHS England. She was chosen for
her passion and enthusiasm for learning disability nursing.
The reception provided the chance for learning disability nurses
across the UK to come together to celebrate the amazing work and
achievements that have happened in the last 100 years of learning
Speaking about the day, Lou said: "I feel very honoured to have
been selected to attend such a special celebration. I have been a
learning disabilities nurse for 16 years and have worked with some
truly inspirational service users who have taught me so much about
overcoming adversity and resilience. Our learning disability nurses
work really hard to improve the lives of our service users and it
was a huge privilege to represent them, and all learning disability
nurses, from across the South West.
"Learning disability nursing is an extremely rewarding role and
I can't recommend it enough. You get to enable each person to reach
their full potential and to lead active, independent and healthy
Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dr Ruth May, attended the
reception to lead the celebrations of our learning disability
nurses' achievements and she recognised the positive contribution
they make to people's lives.
Deputy Chief Nurse at Health Education England, Liz Fenton, said:
"Learning disabilities nursing has changed significantly over the
last 100 years. We've seen a huge shift from institutionalised care
to people with a learning disability now supported to stay well and
maximise their independence.
"Health Education England is extremely proud of all of the
contributions learning disability nurses make in their work with
people and families. We're delighted to be celebrating these vital
contemporary roles and look forward to many more inspiring
achievements over the next 100 years."
AWP's Clinical Director for Specialised Services, Tim Williams,
said: "I'm extremely proud of the work Lou and all our staff who
work in these often challenging roles do. They are very dedicated
to providing high quality care for people with learning
disabilities to ensure they can live fulfilled lives."
AWP has 72 members of staff who are trained in learning
disabilities as part of their Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
qualifications. The Trust provides services and support in both
inpatient and community settings across Avon and Wiltshire for
people with learning disabilities. The Trust's teams of
psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses and support workers
are dedicated to providing access to professional help to those
with mental health conditions and a co-existing learning
If you are interested in becoming a learning disability nurse,
the University of the West of England is currently recruiting for
its training course, which starts in September. To find out more
To find out more about a career in Learning Disability Nursing